ExcelShir Shir Aviv Solving Excel Problems on iPad

How to Convert Problems Into Profit

Several months ago my internet cut out

I was particularly annoyed because only a few months prior I had switched from Spectrum to Optimum. My hope was that I wouldn’t have to deal with this kind of hassle anymore.
Little did I know that my experience with Optimum would be the polar opposite of my experience with Spectrum.

Instead of paraphrasing, I’m going to share the word-for-word emails I received from Optimum. In fact, the language is so effectively executed that I encourage you to steal the exact structure and modify it to suit your needs.

1st Optimum Email: “We are aware of a service outage in your area”

“Dear Aviv Household,

You may be experiencing a loss of Optimum service. There are many things that can cause an outage. This could be due to a car accident, a local power company outage or a damaged utility pole in the area. Our technical teams are working to restore service right now and expect to have it back up and running by 04:00 PM.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress. You can check your service status anytime at optimum.net

Thanks for your patience.”

Then, at 3:54 pm I receive the next message…

2nd Optimum Email: “Your service has been restored”

“Dear Aviv Household,

Our technical teams have completed their work and your Optimum service is back up and running.

If you are still having service issues try a quick reboot of your equipment. To do this, unplug the power, wait 5-10 seconds, then plug the power back in.

Thanks for choosing Optimum.”

About a week later, I received this final message…

3rd Optimum Email: “We’re crediting your account”

“Dear Optimum customer,

As you may be aware, we experienced a power failure that may have affected your service. We understand it was a frustrating experience and we thank you for your patience while our teams worked tirelessly to restore service as quickly as possible.

Please know that we continually assess and improve our systems in an effort to avoid issues such as this because we take seriously the expectation you have for both exceptional service and customer support from us.

In light of the service disruption, we will be automatically issuing a credit on one of your next two monthly billing statements.

On behalf of everyone at Optimum, thank you for being a customer and for trusting us as your connectivity provider.”

My Reaction

Optimum made a mistake. Perhaps it was their fault, or perhaps it was out of their control. Either way, the end result was an interruption to the service that I am paying for.

Not only did Optimum acknowledge the problem, but they fixed it in record time. Furthermore, and perhaps most impressive of all, they automatically and proactively prorated my bill with a refund for the affected service interruption. No further action required on my part.

Contrast that experience with Spectrum (Time Warner Cable, don’t think you’re fooling anyone by changing your name. Your customer service is still trash.) I used to spend HOURS of my life chasing them down and begging them to get credit on my account for service interruptions. Shake. My. Head.

3 Steps to resolve any problem that impacts your client

  1. Acknowledge the problem and articulate the steps that are being taken to fix it.
  2. Fix the problem as quickly as possible, and notify your client when it has been fixed.
  3. Make it up to your client by offering a refund.

If you really want to go above and beyond (and I recommend that you do), you’ll even throw in an extra reward or bonus on top of the refund.

It could be a free or discounted product or service that you offer, or perhaps even a small gift card to a coffeeshop. Something to show your client that what happened was not acceptable, and that you value them as a client and as a person.

Not only will it increase the trust between you and your client, but the bigger you go with your reward/bonus, the more your clients will go out of their way to share their positive experience with friends and colleagues.

Problems Handled Correctly = Increase Profits

Why? Because I am now a diehard Optimum fan for life (unless they do something to break that trust of course).

If they offer a faster internet plan in the future, I will most likely sign up for it, because I know how good their service (and customer service) is.

Lastly, I will always go out of my way to share my positive experience. I’m writing about it and sharing it publicly on my blog, aren’t I?

In other words, there is a tangible and sizable increase in LTV (Life-Time Value), upselling/cross-selling, and referrals.

Not a bad business strategy if you ask me.

How about you?

When was the last time a company made a mistake, and then rectified it in such a way that turned you into a diehard fan? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

If you haven’t yet, I invite you to sign up for my email list by creating a free ExcelShir account. You will be joining a community of like-minded problem solvers, and will also get nuggets of Excel wisdom delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, I’ll also throw in some downloadable cheat sheets, exercises, and templates, because I care.

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